The Federal Government’s War on Vaping Comes to New York

In January, I wrote about the federal government’s war on vaping for Observer, because I treasure freedom and don’t think the federal government should be in the business of interfering in the activities of consenting adults. Now, comes the State of New York to join the war on vaping with an attempt to ban flavored e-cigarettes. This is part of an attempt to kill the industry with a death by a thousand regulations.

Advocates for vaping recognize that New York is restricting access of consenting adults for no rational reason. On March 1, WIVB quoted Brian Ellis, vice president of Yeti Vape stores, as saying, “stopping flavored vape will actually go ahead and limit the availability of product to consenting adults. So, ultimately, by taking that product away, you’re now taking 92 percent of the product that we would have away from consenting adults to use the product.” Advocates for vaping market the product as a safe alternative to tobacco cigarettes and a way to help stop smoking them. One way to attract more adults to this safer alternative to cigarettes is to use flavors.

The argument that we need to protect children from access to these types of products applies to alcohol and marijuana, yet we don’t ban those products. Although the New York legislators could not come to an agreement on adult use cannabis this year, it is likely that some version of that legislation will pass in the next few years and it will be legal. The big hurdles seem to be, according to ABC News, that “despite broad support for legalization and polls showing its statewide popularity, lawmakers couldn’t agree on the many details of legalization, such as how tax revenue should be spent, whether past pot convictions should be expunged, and whether local communities could opt out of hosting dispensaries or instead would have to opt in.” The issue of children’s access to these products are not a high-profile issue, because we don’t ban products merely because children could potentially gain access to them.

The argument that a product not intended for children should be banned has always been an emotional argument many use to attack the push to liberalize cannabis laws and in gun control debates. Laws are on the books that prevent young people from walking into a store an purchasing alcohol, medicinal marijuana and vaping products. The idea that flavored vaping will create a black market where kids stand outside of vape stores, asking adults to buy them these products is not that realistic. “The Kids” argument is a pretext for those who oppose all forms of vaping and want a complete ban.



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